Alternative Facts: New Year, Same Us

Alternative Facts returns in 2018. Things haven't changed.
By    January 17, 2018

Art by Om

Israel Daramola just gave away a Kia

[Ed.- The country seems to be disintegrating at a remarkable pace. Every day brings a fresh deluge of horror. In Alternative Facts, Israel Daramola pauses for a second to look back and take stock of the previous week to ten days. There’s danger in retreating into a shell and letting it wash over you; it’s important to catalogue each new, impossible wrong.]

As the leader of the free world who has to be covered on a 24/7 basis by the media, I find Trump irredeemably boring. I guess it’s fun for some of us to play Chicken Little every time he tweets like a small dick musclehead when threatening North Korea with nukes, but I mean honestly, it’s just tiresome at this point. Donald Trump isn’t nuking anyone and he’s not gonna get America nuked—that would bring me too much peace and joy to actually happen. So let Trump tweet about pullin up wit’ them dicks like he’s a SoundCloud rapper; he’s just cranky and needs a nap.

The Trump experiment cannot be said that it isn’t entertaining. I guess this week’s thing is that he called countries filled with black and brown people “shitholes,” which is so clueless that I think it’s genuinely hilarious. We all know he feels that way (along with many in this country), but you don’t say that when you’re the president. If you were a regional manager at McDonald’s, you wouldn’t call out an applicant for coming from that shithole Burger King. It’s not just that he’s an idiot, he’s just plain bad at having an actual job. That’s what the presidency is by the way: a job, and a job is not something a trust fund millionaire can do. Even more amusing are the black and brown people trying to prove the country they’re from isn’t a shithole as if: a) Trump and people like him care and b) no seriously just look at a.

There are also the precious Helvetica tees already being sold saying “proud shithole member” or whatever the hell. It’s always great to remind people you’re constantly trying to prove your defiance and humanity on the way to Sunday brunch. If I seem flippant, it’s only because I am. I watched a bunch of otherwise smart people convince themselves that Oprah running for president would be a great idea because if nothing else we are a nation that never learns its lessons.

No, it’s okay, Oprah’s one of the good celebrities so that isn’t a historically bad idea like Trump because she’ll be liberal. Cool. All this talk started, by the way, because of a speech she made while accepting the Cecil B, DeMille award. That’s all it takes now. Why not just skip the dance and greenlight Fox’s new show “Celebrity President?” Hosted by…you guessed it, Donald Trump.

To be fair to her though, it was a great speech.

In other news:

Now a scene from The Dark Knight Rises featuring Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne and Anne Hathaway as Selina Kyle.

Selina Kyle: There’s a storm coming, Mr. Wayne.

Bruce Wayne: You sound like you’re looking forward to it.

Selina Kyle: I’m adaptable. But you and your friends better batten down the hatches, ’cause when it hits you’re all going to wonder how you ever thought you could live so large and leave so little for the rest of us.

Or you know, maybe not

Let’s talk about Dave Chappelle. Before we do though, let’s talk about Patrice O’Neal (RIP). Patrice was probably the textbook problematic comedian of his time: A hilarious and insightful guy who was also a giant misogynist, full of prejudices, and constantly finding the worst angles to mine comedy from. He was better at it than he probably should’ve been.

One thing I did truly love about Patrice was his fascination with being a dinosaur. Hours of comedy from his stand ups to radio appearances found him angrily harkening back to a time where he could just say how he felt or “be a man” without political correctness (a nothing phrase) getting in the way.

More often than not, these tirades would end with a solemn realization that maybe the world is right and he’s wrong. Time moves forward and things change, it’s often for our betterment. So now we get to Chappelle whose two latest specials continue to double down on the trans humor of his last Netflix special, as well as some very uncomfortable jokes about the latest sexual harassment allegations. Dave is stubborn because he thinks he’s fighting against PC culture the way he did on Chappelle’s Show—but really he’s just making lazy comedy and comparisons about a thing he doesn’t understand.

Over a decade ago, Chappelle became THE social critic on the back of his show and on his very defiant decision to leave it at its height when he no longer felt his message was being received correctly. Chappelle is a smart, thoughtful and cutting comedian, but his status as the social critic of our time was a bit premature. His comedy is best and smartest when it’s about race, particularly blackness (particularly male blackness) in relationship to whiteness and America. When it delves into other subjects that comedy either falls apart or has aged terribly. He’s basically the smartest dude at the barbershop. I still like Dave. I still find him funny, but it’s not 2003 and things have changed, but Dave won’t. Maybe it’s time to let him be left behind.

We still got Black Bush though:

Song of the week:

You know the scene in Kids when Chloe Sevigny goes to the rave and gets high? That’s the world in general now, but instead of techno we’re all dancing to the emotional club jam.

One Last Thing:

I’d like to tell you about Ryan Mizikar. He sent me a very lovely letter about this column. I hope my response was witty and inspiring enough. The basic gist is that this column gives him some sense of relief in the midst of a chaotic world. I have been reading a lot of Buddhist teachings, which means…. Nothing, it means nothing. But the basic summary is that the world is chaos and filled with evil because of people who want power and success. As long as that exists the world will always be filled with evil. It is our job to just exist: to be good and to accept what life gives you, because the only joy that can be truly found is within you.

On that note, take care of yourself this year. Life really is what you make it. To quote the late Michelle Mcnamara, “It’s chaos, be kind.”

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